Rayce Shoemaker

Rayce Shoemaker and her horse Arlequin hit it off from the beginning.

Grade 12 Frances Kelsey student Shoemaker, who just turned 18 on Jan. 28, started riding lessons at the age of four.

There have been many trials and tribulations until she just clicked last summer with Arlequin during three events at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley for the B.C. Hunter/Jumper Association’s Pre-Children’s Hunter 2’6’’ division crown.

“I had great coaches that got me to where I am right now,’’ said Shoemaker.

Rachel Wassman of Brookhaven Equestrian in Shawnigan Lake is her primary coach, with Bill Ulmer of Kelowna also offering his expertise in the main summer competitive season.

“Rayce works very hard in her lessons and is always improving,’’ noted Wassman.

“Rayce has been working on her horse's straightness as well as her upper body control over the jumps. She has a natural feel and a good eye to the jumps which helps keep her horse on a rhythm and jumping in good form.’’

“It takes hours and hours of practicing figuring out the horse,’’ said Shoemaker. “I still don’t know my horse 100 %.’’

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